WVU’s David Long To Forgo Final College Season
After Friday’s Camping World Bowl loss to Syracuse, West Virginia’s junior linebacker David Long had all the looks of a player who had played his final college football game.
He said in his postgame interview that he wanted to talk with his parents in regards of whether he would return for his senior season at WVU in 2019 or bypass one more year with the Mountaineers and apply for this spring’s NFL draft.
He may not have said he was leaving outside the locker room of CampingWorld Stadium, but his tear-filled eyes foretold his decision. Sunday morning he made his choice public – he was skipping his final collegiate season and was going to try his fortunes in pro football in 2019.
Thank you, Once a Mountaineer Always a Monutaineer🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/F7CIZy70ld
— Day✖️2 (@David__Long) December 30, 2018
Long was the 2018 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, and was named a second-team All-American by the Associated Press, Walter Camp, The Football Foundation and The Athletic. After redshirting as a true freshman in 2015, the 2018 Butkus Award semifinalist amassed 252 tackles in his three seasons as a starter for the Mountaineers. Forty of those tackles came behind the line of scrimmage, tying him for the third most TFLs in WVU history.
At 5-foot-11 and 221 pounds, he’s not ideal size for a pro linebacker, but his productivity with the Mountaineers could be measured by his height.
He’s a fourth-year junior, the Cincinnati native has already earned his bachelor’s degree from WVU, and with that, he’s now departing West Virginia for an attempt at an NFL career.
Long is the fifth underclassman to bypass his senior season and declare for the NFL draft during the Dana Holgorsen era, joining wide receiver Shelton Gibson, cornerback Daryl Worley, running back Wendell Smallwood and wide receiver Stedman Bailey.